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Distance Learning

Virtual learning and how to engage students.

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Monica Gallegos Monica Gallegos 660 Points

How do students learn virtually? (ebooks, videos)

Is engaging students harder when they study virtually?

How can I as a teacher make sure my students are grasping the information that is being taught in class? 

Griselda Castillo Griselda Castillo 620 Points

Hello Monica,

After having this subscription for a while now, I've learned that there are many resources in thus webpage teachers can use when having to teach virtually. For example, the interactive ebooks are a great way for students to use simulations and learn about a certain topic. Although I do believe sometimes it may be harder for students to give 100 percent of their attention when learning through a computer, teachers can find fun ways to present experiments and have the students do them as well through a screen. 

Bailey Myers Bailey Myers 765 Points

Hi Monica, 

You bring up a great topic and have amazing questions! I am a college student at Wartburg and I'm going into elementary education, so hearing different perspectives on virtual learning/distance learning is interesting as I've been through virtual learning as a student and also as a teacher. When it comes to learning virtually, I'd say the hardest part is to get students involved enough that they are learning from each other.

The first thing I think of is the aspect of reliability and trust in your students. If you only have students read a chapter for homework with nothing to fill out, nothing for a follow-up, and nothing due, then the students are not going to read the chapter unless they have time or it is interesting to students. I would say you need something due that goes along with the lesson being taught. Homework that is due will make students work harder on it so the students get a good grade and focus on what they are supposed to be doing. Then, the harder the students work on the assignment, the better engagement and class participation you will have during your class meetings. This concept of participating will then lead you to understand what the class has learned and what information still needs to be covered. 

This has helped me in my learning, so I hope it is helpful for you! 

Bailey Myers 
Wartburg College '2023

Irene Martinez Irene Martinez 760 Points

Hi Monica, virtual learning has genuinely changed the academic world. Keeping students engaged during a virtual session is way harder than an in-person class. In a virtual session, students are exposed to outside distractions we can’t control. Coming from a student who experienced virtual learning at the peak of the pandemic I would suggest having open discussions with your class about the topic you're covering or creating an engaging formative activity that will lead students to demonstrate whether or not they are grasping the information. Ebooks and videos are great tools to help students learn, but there are also other online resources you could use to aid their learning like online simulations, Kahoot, nearpod, etc… 


Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4502 Points


In response to your question, 'How do students learn virtually? (ebooks, videos)?'  I use videos and have students use the CRAAP test to research information via the internet that assist students gather information pertain to specific understandings.   Additionally, I have students complete guided notes or Cornell Notes to record the important information pertain to the content be covered.  

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4502 Points


In response to your statement, 'Is engaging students harder when they study virtually?'  I am a remote/virtual teacher for science.  I teacher 8th grade, biology, chemistry and forensic science.  I don't find it more difficult to engage students.  As long as you establish a means of communication at the beginning of school year, students will be more willing to participate in activities, group discussions and small group activities. 

Patty Leazier 

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4502 Points

In response to this questions, 'How can I as a teacher make sure my students are grasping the information that is being taught in class?'  Have students create models to demonstrate their understandings.  When students develop models, a teacher can see what they are thinking and quickly assess their understandings.  Modeling can be used for science, history, and math as annotations clearly illustrate a students understanding of the system, problem or situation. 

Patty Leazier 

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4502 Points

Don't forget computer simulations to help create student engagement.  Simulations such as PhET are great tools to introduce, reinforce or assess student understandings of content. 

Kayley Perry Kayley Perry 290 Points

Hi Monica, 

Thank you for posting this questiosn because I have been wondering the same thing. Thanks everyone else for the great feedback. 

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